FOR MARION AT LARGE CITY COUNCIL: ADAMSON
Perhaps Craig Adamson’s biggest mistake during the Marion election campaign was to miss the filing deadline. He’s running as a write-in candidate.
Nonetheless, the two-time incumbent, a retirement counselor and financial analyst, is the best choice for the open at-large seat on the City Council. He has shown leadership, for example, in helping develop and implement the Central Corridor Plan that is unfolding in the Uptown District around Marion Square Park. Though not without controversy and some bumps in the road — including recent problems with the new brick surface on Sixth Avenue — the long-range project is drawing private investment in the district, including a pair of new three-story buildings.
Meanwhile, overall taxable value in the city is rising steadily — $33 million over last year with a bump of $87 million expected next year in this fast-growing community of about 35,000. With the new Enterprise Park for industry opening, major redevelopment unfolding in Lincoln View Square along Seventh Avenue at 35th Street and another industrial park to accommodate a pending move by Marion Iron that would free up more development opportunities along the Seventh Avenue corridor, the city seems well on its way to attracting more business investment, jobs and expanding the commercial tax base. That’s critical to better balance with the residential segment — the latter currently accounts for 80 percent of the valuation.
Adamson’s measured progressive approach seems tempered with reasonable fiscal oversight. The latter is no less important than ever, especially with many street repairs facing the city amid the challenges of effectively serving a fast-growing population.
FOR MARION WARD 2 CITY COUNCIL: SPINKS
With a fast-growing population expected to top 40,000 by 2020, Marion faces challenges in maintaining what Joe Spinks describes as a “progressive community with high-quality services and a safe environment within cost-effective governance.”
The longtime Rockwell engineer is wrapping up his sixth year, and first full term, on the council and is seeking re-election in Ward 2. He supports the direction that the council majority has taken during that time, and notes that the city budget is balanced and private investment is growing across the city, while amenities such as the Thomas Park splash pad and the Lowe Park amphitheater have been added.
Shifting the property tax burden from residential toward a 50-50 balance with commercial is one of Spinks’ priorities so “we can better weather any (budget) storms in the future.”
Spinks remains a solid choice in Ward 2.